Animal Locomotion Lab

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Susan Larson

Dr. Larson's research centers on the functional interpretation of primate and human postcranial morphology focusing on the use of experimental techniques to test hypothesized relationships between form and function. Some of these techniques include kinematic motion analysis, force plate studies, cineradiography, and most recently in vivo bone strain analysis. However, most of Dr. Larson's research involves the analysis of muscle function using the technique of electromyography (EMG). Much of this research has concerned shoulder muscle function in nonhuman primates, on which she has published several papers in conjunction with Jack T. Stern. As an outgrowth of that electromyographic research, Dr. Larson has performed a morphometric survey of primate scapulae and humeri identifying new functional characters that can be directly related to shoulder muscle function and mechanics. Dr. Larson is currently involved in a project detailing the form of quadrupedal locomotion displayed by nonhuman primates. Primate quadrupedalism is known to be unique in many ways when compared to nonprimate mammalian locomotion. The goal of Dr. Larson's project is to understand the underlying causes for these differences and how they relate to the evolution of the primate Order.